Five star second-half for the ressies...
Rotherham United Reserves finished the season in style after a comprehensive second half showing secured a 5-0 victory over Mansfield Town.
A brace apiece for Tom Hitchcock and Jerry Yates was added to Nicky Walker’s strike as the Millers cruised to a comfortable victory.
The Millers fielded a strong side for the final game of the Final Third Development League’s 13/14 season. It was good news for midfielder Mitchell Rose who made his first appearance for seven months as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee ligament injury, whilst there was also a start for Wes Thomas who has now fully recovered from a thigh strain.
It was a slow start to the game with the first opening falling to the Millers when Thomas burst forward into the area but his low shot was easily saved by Ian Deakin.
Mansfield’s first opportunity came on 22 minutes when Yannick Makota headed wide from a free-kick from the right.
The Millers were close to receiving a penalty a minute later when Michael O’Connor drove towards the area before being hurled down just outside the box. The referee awarded a free-kick with O’Connor taking the responsibility but his shot was deflected narrowly wide.
That was pretty much as good as it got for both sides with just Rob Milsom going close when he fired wide after good work from O’Connor and Walker.
Rotherham United Reserves 0 v 0 Mansfield Town Reserves
The second half was a much better spectacle and one which the Millers dominated. Firstly O’Connor fired narrowly over from a free-kick before the Millers deservedly took the lead just before the hour mark. Thomas made a positive run into the channel before squaring the ball to Walker who finished well from 10 yards, guiding the ball into the far corner with a first time shot.
It was soon 2-0 with Walker again heavily involved for the Millers. This move started with some good build up play between O’Connor and sub Yates before the ball was moved to Walker whose shot was blocked, only for the ball to fall kindly for Hitchcock who blasted home to double the Millers advantage.
On 70 minutes an O’Connor’s corner found Walker whose drilled shot was saved by Deakin, whilst at the other end Mansfield’s best chance was skied by Lee Stevenson.
The match was sewn up a minute later when Walker burst down the left before sliding the ball across the six yard area where Yates was sliding in to convert from three yards.
It was almost four on 77 minutes when Hitchcock’s firm header was tipped onto the crossbar by Deakin, before the QPR loanee delighted the crowd with a spectacular acrobatic effort which flew into the net, however the referee had already blown for an earlier offence.
The Millers were to grab a fourth on 82 minutes when Yates notched his second of the afternoon with a far post header from Milsom’s cross, before Hitchcock made it a five star performance when volleyed in O’Connor’s low corner into the near post.
Rotherham United Reserves 5 v 0 Mansfield Town Reserves
Rotherham: Shearer; Brindley, Davis, Addison, Johnson (Warrren 76), Rose (Lucas 60), Milsom, O’Connor, Walker, Thomas (Yates 61), Hitchcock.
Subs not used: Bryan, Wiles, Norfolk.
Mansfield: Deakin; Black, McKenzie, Dyer (Lamb 60), Marsden, Stevenson, Clements, Westlake, Briscoe, Makota (Jones 56), Thomas.
Subs not used: Fell, Spencer, Green, Hemagou.